Egyptian society, which was particularly bureaucratic, needed many scribes to draw up the numerous documents. The profession was also highly regarded, as is shown by the hieratic texts used during the scribes' training which idealize the profession and compare it favorably to the hard life of a farmer or a soldier. Only a small proportion of the Egyptian population could read, and thus the scribes became a 'class apart'. The profession was often passed down from father to son. Trainee scribes were not only taught from a number of classical texts, they also learned specialized matters such as how to write a letter and to perform mathematical calculations. Many important Egyptians had statues made of themselves as a scribe, seated in the characteristic position with crossed legs and a papyrus roll in their laps. Often this papyrus roll had a text carved on it, usually a hymn to Thoth. This god, together with the goddess Seshat, was the patron god of scribes. The scribe's equipment consisted of his palette, with two holes for red and black ink, a number of pens and a pot or leather pouch to hold water. The hieroglyph for 'scribe' depicts these three attributes together.